Mansion group pushes for poker recognition as an Olympic sport

Mansion group online subsidiary Circus has announced a new initiative to have the game of poker recognised as an Olympic sport; initially as a demonstration sport in 2012 and then as a main event in 2016.

Buoyed by a public Internet campaign, the online gaming company is hoping to convince Olympic organisers to include poker on the competitive roster despite similar initiatives by women's netball and Twenty20 cricket fans.

The company points out that poker is not only an old and well established game, but is also one of the fastest growing in the world, played by millions and watched by similar numbers, and recognised in some countries as a sport. And the game is truly cross-gender and has international appeal.

Peter Nolan at Circus said: "Poker's appeal is global, it transcends gender and age and is the fastest-growing sport in the world - it's ripe for Olympic recognition.

"Millions play every week, millions more watch it on TV, but perhaps more importantly, we've got some world-renowned British players."

Nolan went on to announce his company's "fantasy" pick as a possible British team:

Jon Kalmar - aged 35 from Chorley, Lancashire.
Adrian Lambe - in his 30's from Abingdon, Oxford.
Dave Colclough - aged 44 from Carmarthen, Wales.
Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott - aged 54 from Hull, Yorkshire.
Victoria Coren - aged 35 from London.
Neil Channing - aged 41 from Reading, Berkshire.
Lucy Rokach - aged 59 from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Mark Goodwin - in his early 40's from Birmingham, West Midlands. is not affiliated with any of the above players, but believes them to be Britain's best.

Mansion is member of the international Genting Group, one of Malaysia's leading multinational corporations, which has more than 27 000 employees and a combined market capitalisation of more than US 17 billion.

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